Commenting on the award, EcoEngineering Director Dr Vice Soljan said: "We are very honoured for two reasons – we are the first Croatian company to win an award through participating in EUREKA, and also we are the first company to win a EUREKA award for both the company and the project." EcoEngineering was a partner in the E! 2497 EUROENVIRON BIOMAC project which was named today as joint winner of the EUREKA Lillehammer award for projects in environmental technology.
Waste water is conventionally biologically treated by bacterial biomass, known as activated sludge, which breaks down waste products into simple forms. However many toxic substances or complex mixtures of compounds, coming from industrial or municipal wastes cannot be broken down effectively in this way. The BIOMAC project developed a new system using specially designed mixtures of different bacteria, in granular form, which can break down even the most toxic wastes.
EcoEngineering supplied its extensive knowledge and its collection of bacteria and yeasts to enable the system to use the optimum mixture for waste water with any complement of pollutants.
Dr Soljan explains: "What we have done is to open completely new possibilities for biological waste water treatment. The process is much more efficient than the conventional method; it uses less energy and less oxygen, and produces less sludge for disposal. We have tested and applied our system from laboratory to full scale, and it works even on complex pollutant mixtures such as in waste water from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and leachate from landfills. We are now partnering waste water treatment companies and industries in many countries in Western and Eastern Europe to upgrade existing plants." In addition, at home the company has entered a partnership with the main Croatian water management agency, Croatian Waters, to work jointly on how best to comply with the EU legislation on water supply and pollution control.
EcoEngineering has filed a national patent on its granular biomass formulation. The development has resulted in spectacular success for the company: a 85% total increase in turnover in 2005, of which BIOMAC contributed 82%. "Being part of a EUREKA project," says Dr Soljan, "helped us a lot because it helped us to apply our research to the market. It enabled us to become a partner with other organizations and to pool our different sorts of expertise."
Dr Vice Soljan, EcoEngineering Ltd, Kestenova 56a, Kufci, HR-52 446 Nova Vas, Croatia
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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